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Census going to print without Citizenship Question

Census going to print without Citizenship Question

So we will not know how many of the people in this country are non-citizens.

After the recent Supreme Court decision ruling that the Commerce Department had not given a sufficient explanation for a Census citizenship question, there still was a possibility that the Trump administration could pursue a new explanation. After all, the question itself was held substantively lawful, it was the process that was the problem.

We covered the possibilities for a do-over in Chief Justice Roberts shot down Census citizenship question, but it’s not dead yet.

But the timing was tough because printing the Census is a monumental undertaking. The government had argued, in urging the Supreme Court to expedite the case, that the printing could not wait much beyond the end of the Supreme Court term in June.

The theoretical what-if not longer is what-if. Or so it seems.

The Census is going to print without the question, via NBC News:

The Trump administration will move forward with printing the 2020 census without a controversial citizenship question, a Department of Justice spokesperson said Tuesday….

A Justice Department trial attorney sent an email to an opposing counsel in the citizenship case, saying “the decision has been made to print the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire without a citizenship question, and that the printer has been instructed to begin the printing process,” according to a copy of the email posted online by one of the attorneys involved….

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed in a statement Tuesday that the Census Bureau has started printing the decennial questionnaires without the question. He said he “strongly” disagreed with the court’s ruling on his decision to reinstate the question, adding, “My focus, and that of the Bureau and the entire Department is to conduct a complete and accurate census.”

But is it over-over? Justin Miller at The Daily Beast reports:

DOJ would not tell me if the administration has given up the citizenship question, only saying forms will begin printing without it (Monday was the deadline)

Joshua Matz, a lawyer and obvious opponent of the question, writes:

Of course, plaintiffs & courts should not accept any representation from the government as conclusive unless DOJ unequivocally represents that a question about citizenship will not appear on *any* form, or in *any* manner, in *any* document relating to the 2020 Decennial Census

My sense is it’s over-over. Another victory for the swing Justice, Chief John Roberts.

A perfectly legitimate and substantively lawful question, which would help us better understand who is in the country, will not happen.

Ignorance is bliss. Knowledge apparently is not good.


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Close The Fed | July 2, 2019 at 8:14 pm

Time for impeachment.

Time to follow Jackson and Lincoln into action consistent with the truth: SCOTUS isn’t a Superior branch.

    Tom Servo in reply to Close The Fed. | July 3, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Talk to Nancy Pelosi, since all such actions have to start in the House. I’m sure she’ll get right on that.

    MarkS in reply to Close The Fed. | July 3, 2019 at 9:10 am

    I agree, time for impeachment for Trump! He is overseeing the demise of the United States as we know it by his inaction to stop the Third World invasion through our southern border. He even gave amnesty to 2,000 families scheduled for deportation so Nancy would would give him 4.5 billion for the aid and comfort of not American citizens in need, not veterans afflicted with PTSD, but for the trespassers at our border. Reports are that 35,000 Africans are in Panama ready to make the trip to the promised land where they will no doubt be feted with the best the Border Patrol, via the taxpayers, has to offer. Trump got elected on a secure border and that is his biggest failure, and I would say intentionally so.

      Edward in reply to MarkS. | July 3, 2019 at 9:24 am

      Lost eh?

      Mac45 in reply to MarkS. | July 3, 2019 at 12:02 pm

      So, Mark, failed high school civics class, did you?

      Trump promised to secure the border, eliminate the illegal Dreamers EO and deport people. Well, he actually tried. The courts stopped the elimination of the Dreamers discretionary holds. The courts stopped the attempt to temporarily halt immigration from countries without adequate systems to verify indentity of persons coming from those countries. The courts and the Congress blocked the construction of an effective border barrier. The Congress has consistently refused to address the laws pertaining to immigration which leads to the inability of the Executive branch to detain and process people illegally entering the country. If you want to impeach those responsible for the continuing immigration issues, then look to the courts and Congress. Trump, has only two choices, in this area, obey the law or act unilaterally, arbitrarily and illegally. That, path was followed by the last administration. And, you see where it got us.

        MarkS in reply to Mac45. | July 3, 2019 at 7:22 pm

        So now you want to debate what I didn’t say? The courts determined the 2000 families should be deported and instead of deporting Trump offered up their amnesty to get some money from Nancy to make life more comfortable for the intruders. Trump has threatened to close the border to stop the influx and again, an idle threat from the president. The hordes continue from Mexico and there are none of the tariffs Trump threatened if Mexico didn’t put an end to it, another idle threat which I’m sure Xi and Kim are noting. Something else I find curious is the lack of raids on businesses employing illegals. No court has said Trump cannot do that and yet he does nothing to deter illegal immigration.

          I’ve noted all of that, too, Mark, as has everyone here. The border is a huge problem and has been since the Reagan years; the problems have been compounded exponentially during the Obama years (though Bush did nothing to help), and now with Democrats demagoguing open borders, what is Trump supposed to do? He can’t just unilaterally do anything without crossing constitutional lines that would probably end up shifting enough public sentiment to favor impeachment. And then what?

          Bush taught us (if we didn’t already know) that the public will cede rights it shouldn’t in the name of security and that those choices have consequences if you support it during an administration you trust, but don’t when the other side is in power.

          Obama taught us that unilateral action is stupid. Almost everything he did without Congress has been rolled back. Do you not think anything Trump does on immigration and the border (or anything else) won’t be rolled back if a Dem wins next year?

          Trump, I believe, does want to close the border. Even at his most progressive left-Democrat supporting self, he was still very patriotic and believed in the American experiment. That Trump, I think, would #WalkAway from this radical, extremist Green New Deal, Medicare for all, open borders lunacy of today’s Democrats. And I do not believe that has changed; if anything, his actions in office have shown that it was very real then and maybe more real now.

          An American president is not some feudal king who can just say a word and things change, and we can thank our Founders for that. We might be frustrated now, but think about the horrors this exact same republican government saved us from under Obama. No, it didn’t save us from ObamaCare, but it saved us from a bazillion other “fundamental changes” that nutjob had in mind. He couldn’t do it because he was head of but one of three branches of government. That is America’s true safety net. We may not get what we want, but they don’t, either. It gets frustrating, but it’s the best possible form of government for that very reason.

          As for the border. Trump will do something, he’ll start ICE raids on those already ordered to leave (who can argue with that?), and my fondest hope is that he’ll start shipping illegals en masse to sanctuary cities. That, I think, is going to tilt public opinion in a way nothing else really can. The NIMBY folks will be horrified that their “big hearts and small mind” chickens came home to roost. They’re already shoveling crap out of the streets at (angry) taxpayer expense, imagine what happens when all these hundreds of thousands of illegals show up in these cities.

          Anyway, this again, just underscores the need to support Republicans in Congress (both the House and the Senate). A Republican who votes with Trump even only 50% of the time is better than a Dem who will vote with him 0%. Get that, and we may be able to support him in 2020 and 2022 by giving him back the House and keeping the Senate. You want things done? That’s the path. The only path.

          Mac45 in reply to MarkS. | July 4, 2019 at 5:02 pm

          So, let’s address your concerns.

          First, of all, I do not think that trump’s first priority is to deport every single alien illegally in this country tomorrow. The problem being that it would take months, if not years to do so; during which time more aliens would stream across an unsecured border. Trump’s first priority has always been to secure the Southern border first.

          But, now he has a new problem. Due to the refusal of Congress to change the immigration laws, to eliminate the language, which allows people to claim asylum at will and judicial decisions which require the release of such people into the interior of the country, as well as its refusal to appropriate money for securing the border a massive influx of illegal aliens has overwhelmed the capacity of the agencies responsible for dealing with these people to do that. The system is on the verge of collapse. To buy time, Trump announced the mass deportation order enforcement operation and them temporarily suspended it in order to gain funding to temporarily shore up the collapsing immigration system.

          Second, closing the border. Theoretically Trump could close the Southern Border after declaring a National Security Emergency. However, The courts, and most likely Congress would order it reopened. It would be incredibly expensive. It would tie up a major portion of the military. And, it would cause a tremendous backlash among the economic sector in this country.

          Third, as to using tariffs, well the mere threat of such got Mexico to do something. not much, assuredly, but at least something. And, unless the Mexican government chose to go to war with the cartels controlling the border areas, this would not stop illegal entries, unless we can secure our side of the border, which Congress and the courts will not allow.

          Fourth, going after the employers would cause problems. Trump needs the business community to back him in his trade realignment program. So, he is going to tread lightly in that area. However, the simple passage of eVerify would go a long way to hampering illegal employment in this country. That takes back to Congress and its refusal to do anything about the immigration problem.

          Firing the teams coach or manager is always appealing. It is a simple solution to what may be a complex problem. But, it does absolutely no good unless you have someone who will step in and do what YOU want. And, where are you going to find someone like that? Pense????

          You want to blame the President because he is not following YOUR game plan. But, everything indicates that he would make good on everyone of his promises except for the fact that his actions and desires are being actively blocked by the courts, the Congress and even parts of the permanent bureaucracy. I really think you are taking out your frustrations on the wrong person. I suppose that trump could declare himself dictator for life and then simply do whatever he wanted. But, I would much rather have at least one branch of the government respect the law.

      Close The Fed in reply to MarkS. | July 3, 2019 at 9:33 pm

      MarkS, I downvoted you in error.

      Agree with your sentiment although not the method.

So let us say, one month before the census is to be mailed out PDJT’s DOJ files a lawsuit claiming they have an explanation for the citizenship question.
Then they declare the census is on hold until the formal ruling on their lawsuit is written.
Liberal heads explode and stores all over the country run out of diapers and Depends.

I know that there is no way for a President to control a Supreme Court Justice once they are confirmed by the Senate. But the more that time goes by, the worse the Bush presidency looks.

And – I have to be honest – Bush’s judgement was pretty lousy on a variety of issues, from his appointment of Roberts to his fetish for open borders to his decision to go to war in Iraq and then go fetal when the al Qaeda Democrats started attacking the US. Bush is who he is – a rich white liberal Republican who preferred to suck up to his enemies and stab his friends in the back. Roberts was not the worst mistake of the Bush presidency, but it was pretty symbolic.

    Tom Servo in reply to Recovering Lutheran. | July 3, 2019 at 8:30 am

    And that’s why all of us are saying – Uniparty! I spent a lot of energy back in the day defending Bush but now – Never Again. He was uniparty the whole way. And you know who was even worse? John Mcain. and then Mitt Romney. That’s why the GOP is so pathetic, we’ve had nothing but traitors and quislings who hate us at the top of it for almost 30 years. Look at Paul Ryan, who I once had hope for – as soon as he finds out he’s actually going to have the chance to be part of an ACTUAL conservative government, he and all of his close allies just quit and do everything they can to hand the House over to Nancy Pelosi.

    Of the many good things Trump has done, one of the best has been to overturn the Old GOP Order, and to rip the party to shreds. It had become even more corrupt than the democrat party.

      MattMusson in reply to Tom Servo. | July 3, 2019 at 9:20 am

      But this also shows the need for us overwhelm the Judiciary with Fair judges for a change.

        Close The Fed in reply to MattMusson. | July 3, 2019 at 9:36 pm

        I agree with a writer that pointed out, we don’t need “fairer” judges. We need to give up on that, because it’s not working.

        Better to rein them in via legislation, reducing their jurisdiction over entire areas, rather than hope longer in vain that they love America.

        They don’t love America. They think they can destroy her and no harm will come of it.

I am sorry, but I see no basis for the Govt asking anything except “How many people live at this address?” That is the legal requirement!

I was visited by many census workers in 2010, but I never opened my door to them. They left me a “long form” census questionnaire in 2010, but I did not answer anything on the form except that one question of “how many people”. As to my education level, my income level, my ethnic background — M.Y.O.B!

    Milhouse in reply to Geologist. | July 2, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    The basis is that since they’re asking that question anyway it’s convenient for them to ask other questions which are of legitimate interest to the government, nothing in the constitution forbids it, and Congress has authorized them to do so.

      MarkS in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2019 at 9:13 am

      If there is “legislative interest” then let Congress survey the populace. The Executive is conducting the Census and it does not legislate

        Milhouse in reply to MarkS. | July 4, 2019 at 12:32 am

        First of all, nobody said anything about “legislative interest”. You introduced that term.

        Second, conducting a census is an executive function. Congress authorizes such actions, and the executive carries them out. That’s what “executive” means. Determining the questions to be asked is the Secretary’s job because Congress said so.

    gourdhead in reply to Geologist. | July 3, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Agreed about just asking how many people, but this is for the representation of U.S.citizens in Washington. This is America and this census is for Americans, not illegal trash mooching off the system.

      Oversoul Of Dusk in reply to gourdhead. | July 3, 2019 at 9:33 am

      The citizenship question on the census was never about representation in congress.

      Everyone gets counted, citizen or not. That count determines congressional representation. Even if the census included the question about citizenship, the non-citizens would still count when divvying up the congress-dolts.

    Richard G. in reply to Geologist. | July 3, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    “I am sorry, but I see no basis for the Govt asking anything except “How many people live at this address?” That is the legal requirement!”

    Except that the 14th amendment, section 2, REQUIRES the citizenship question!-It reads “…counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed.” (Whole number as opposed to the original ‘three fifths of all other persons’, here amended.) Thus your assertion seems reasonable, yet section two of the amendment is not done:

    “But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of
    electors (for President and Vice President of the United States etc)… is denied to any male inhabitants of such State,being twenty-one years of age, AND CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES (there is that pesky word citizens), or in any way abridged,…(and here is the critical passage)… THE BASIS OF REPRESENTATION THEREIN (that would be proportional representation in Congress) SHALL BE REDUCED IN THE PROPORTION WHICH THE NUMBER OF SUCH MALE CITIZENS (that pesky word again) SHALL BEAR TO THE WHOLE NUMBER OF MALE CITIZENS (pesky word) TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE IN SUCH STATE.”

    So please explain to Me how this proportional representation REDUCTION to the total number of CITIZENS counted for representation is to be accomplished without COUNTING the number of CITIZENS using the census question.

    The question is needed to count the number of unqualified nonvoting CITIZENS. Does the Administrative Procedures Act trump the 14th Amendment?

    Chief Justice Roberts: “The question is Constitutional. But you didn’t say: ‘Mother May I’.”

    The Constitution is not a suicide pact. The REMOVAL of the citizenship question needs to be overturned, being unconstitutional.

      Eskyman in reply to Richard G.. | July 3, 2019 at 8:26 pm

      Thank you, Richard G, for that clear analysis! Well said.

      Milhouse in reply to Richard G.. | July 4, 2019 at 12:41 am

      Sorry, Richard G., but the 15th amendment made the 2nd section of the 14th amendment obsolete. There are no states where the right to vote is denied to any of the state’s inhabitants who are eighteen years of age and citizens of the united states, except for crime. Thus no state’s representation is reduced by 14A.2. During the brief period when it was in effect they would have had to ask men over 21 not only about their citizenship but also whether their state allowed them to vote.

        Richard G. in reply to Milhouse. | July 4, 2019 at 2:20 am

        Milhouse, the 15th amendment states:

        “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The amendment goes on to state that “The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

        Pesky word; CITIZENS.

        Please show me where the 15th amendment speaks to proportional representation. It does not. It is silent.

        Likewise the 19th amendment states:

        “Section 1. The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

        Again that pesky word CITIZENS

        Please show me where the 19th amendment speaks to proportional representation. It does not. It is silent.

        The 14th amendment speaks to proportional representation in Congress.
        Neither the 15th or the 19th amendments refer to the 14th amendment or to apportionment.

        The 14th, 15th, and the 19th amendments do not speak to ANY denial or abridgement of the right to vote due to age. They do not even mention ‘voting age’.

        The 14th amendment as superceded specifies of the number of all CITIZENS of the age of 21 years:


        The 15th and 19th amendments increased the franchise enumerated in the 14th amendment to include ALL citizens . Yet the 14th amendment stipulates that for apportionment of representation in Congress, It SHALL be based upon the NUMBER of eligible CITIZENS age 21 and over. There fore the census is required to make such a count.

        By the way, If the 14th amendment was repealed without me noticing, please be so kind as to point out where and when that happened.

        You say “Sorry, Richard G., but the 15th amendment made the 2nd section of the 14th amendment obsolete.” You then proceed to quote three words almost verbatim directly from the second section , “except for crime”, as part of your argument that “no states representation is reduced by 14A.2.”

        To quote the 14th amendment section 2 directly:

        “or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime”

        Speaking to those CITIZENS not allowed to vote.

        So I guess it is not obsolete in it’s entirety.

        Never the less, the census is to count all Persons, and yet it is to differentiate between Persons and CITIZENS for the purpose of determining “PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION”.

        My point is that the CITIZENS are mandated to be counted in the census.

          Milhouse in reply to Richard G.. | July 4, 2019 at 9:27 am

          The ignorance here is astonishing.

          I don’t know why you are talking about proportional reprsentation here. We do not have proportional representation in the USA, and nobody claims the constitution requires it.

          Yes, only citizens can vote. Nobody denies that. But since the census has no connection to the franchise, there is no need for it to count citizens, any more than it has to count people’s sex, age, criminal status, or anything else affecting their right to vote. It can ask these things, and it does ask some of them, but it doesn’t have to.

          Your entire position hinges on Section 2 of the 14th amendment. That section preserves the states’ absolute right to control the franchise, but says if a state chooses to deny it to male citizens aged over 21, except for rebellion or crime, it can do that but it will pay a penalty. You may be right that in order to assess that penalty the census would have had to determine how many such people there were in each state, and how many of them were not being allowed to vote. But the penalty never had to be assessed, because a few years later the 15th amendment made the whole section obsolete by outright forbidding states from denying any of them the vote. Since they can’t do it in the first place, they can’t be assessed a penalty for doing it. Now that the 19th, 24th, and 25th amendments have been added, no state denies the franchise to any citizen over the age of 18, except for crime. Therefore 14A § 2 is obsolete.

          The 14th amendment speaks to proportional representation in Congress.

          No, it does not.

          The 14th, 15th, and the 19th amendments do not speak to ANY denial or abridgement of the right to vote due to age. They do not even mention ‘voting age’.

          Wrong. The 14th explicitly does speak to it. It punishes states that deny the vote to male citizens over 21, but not states that deny it to male citizens under 21.

          Yet the 14th amendment stipulates that for apportionment of representation in Congress, It SHALL be based upon the NUMBER of eligible CITIZENS age 21 and over.

          NO IT DOES NOT. Here is the core of your profound misunderstanding. The number of male citizens over 21 who are not rebels or criminals is relevant only for the penalty imposed by 14A § 2, which never took effect because the 15th made it obsolete.

          My point is that the CITIZENS are mandated to be counted in the census.

          And your point is completely wrong.

The anti-Americans win another round in court and they didn’t even have to be correct.

So let’s break this down.

When he bent over backwards to make Obamacare legal, Roberts said that the argument the government made was invalid, but by a different argument that they not only had not made, but was EXPLICITLY stated by the President to not be true, the law was legal.

Here, Roberts said that the argument that the government made was legal, but because they MIGHT have had ‘bad intentions’, they couldn’t ask the question.

So to sum up, Obamacare is legal because Black Man Good, and the census question is not allowed because Orange Man Bad

What a ****ing snake Roberts is.

    Milhouse in reply to Olinser. | July 2, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    No, that is not at all what has happened. In the 0bamacare case Roberts looked at what Congress had actually done, not at what the politicians said they were doing. What Congress actually enacted was a tax, not a fine. Calling it a fine was simply a lie, like calling a dog a cat, or a man a woman. The court took judicial notice that politicians lie, and said it doesn’t have to pretend to believe those lies. Congress’s motives were completely irrelevant and never came up, because it has the right to make whatever laws it likes, for any reason it likes, so long as it stays within its enumerated powers. A fine for not being insured is not within its powers; a tax on the income of uninsured people is.

    The executive branch, however, cannot do whatever it likes. When, as here, the Commerce Secretary is acting on authority granted by Congress he must have a good reason for what he does; he cannot be arbitrary or capricious. He cannot act on a whim. And while the courts will bend over backwards to accept whatever reason he offers, Roberts says it can’t ignore what’s right in front of its nose, and when the reason offered is plainly false it must suppose that the real reason is something quite different and illegitimate.

    I’m more inclined to agree with Alito, that the exact content of the census questionnaire is not something the courts should stick their noses into, and even if the Secretary is acting on a whim the courts should leave it alone and if Congress thinks he’s overstepped his bounds let it deal with it.

      “Good reasoning”, “arbitrary”, “capricious”, and “whim” seem to be more than a little bit foggy to me. One man’s whim is another man’s rock-solid reasoning. As a non-lawyer it makes me VERY nervous when a judge – and the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, no less – says Secretary X acted out of base motives because I-don’t-like-some-of-what-he-says-so-off-with-his-head. Shouldn’t Roberts from now on subject every single Supreme Court case about how the Executive branch performs its functions to the same microscopic examination? Holy Mackaroly what a way to run a judicial system!

        You seem to think this is something novel or controversial. All agency actions are subject to the same requirement. It is the law that government agencies are not allowed to make arbitrary or capricious decisions.

        The reviewing court shall—
        (2) hold unlawful and set aside agency action, findings, and conclusions found to be—
        (A) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law;

          Which still puts us no closer to a concise legal definition of what “arbitrary” and “capricious” mean. Non-lawyers can grasp definitions of “speeding” and “burglary” without much dissent, but “arbitrary” and “capricious” seem to be synonymous with “I don’t like that”. As someone coming from outside the legal profession I will defer to your analysis that it is the correct legal standard, but I find the vagueness of it deeply troubling.

          I clicked on the link you provided, and after reading it I had to shake my eyeballs to make sure they were working properly. In my life as an engineer and mathematician I have found that ill-defined terms are an invitation to catastrophe. Maybe whoever wrote those laws should try to define more clearly what they mean rather than leave it up to – dare I say it? – the whim of the judge whose job it is to interpret it.

          Anyway, thank you for the information.

          Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2019 at 8:34 am

          “Which still puts us no closer to a concise legal definition of what “arbitrary” and “capricious” mean.”

          RL, keep that line of questioning up and next you’ll want to know what “Penumbras” and “Emanations” are.

          stablesort in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2019 at 10:39 am

          “All agency actions are subject to the same requirement.”

          This seems to be the entire basis for administrative law. The legislature writes vague laws ending in “…as the Secretary may direct” which leaves the legislature, the executive, the judicial and the citizenry with no fixed law at all.

          No matter how the “… Secretary may direct.”, the laws are always open to further modification or refinement. In other words, the law is whatever the the popular opinion may support.

      Edward in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2019 at 11:54 am

      “A fine for not being insured is not within its powers; a tax on the income of uninsured people is.”

      You are absolutely right. So Roberts decided that just because Congress wrote the bill and called it a fine he would have to rewrite the statute because Congress does not have the power to levy fines (other than inclusion as a penalty in criminal and civil violation statutes). The statute’s emanations and penumbra informed Roberts that Congress must have meant “tax”. So Roberts rewrote the law calling the fine a tax in order to pass constitutional muster. Had to be emanations and penunbra, because Roberts allegedly wrote a decision that the statute was unconstitutional because Congress did not have the power to fine for not taking an action and there was no severance clause to exempt other parts of the statute.

        PersonofInterests in reply to Edward. | July 3, 2019 at 5:32 pm

        And what is more, this snake John Roberts knew EXACTLY what he was doing, going through legal contortions to make a law that WAS NOT A TAX so it could start in the Upper House, i.e., the Senate and not as required of all Appropriation Bills in the Lower House, i.e., the House, and pass before Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts could be seated to oppose passage and being sent back to Dementia Nancy’s Socialist crazies to pass it SO THAT THEY COULD THEN READ WHAT WAS IN IT. Talk about embracing “The Suck.”

        Then, Roberts to find it “Constitutional” had to reinvent the ACA (Obamacare) to indeed be a tax and “constitutional” under the 14th Amendment’s Taxing Authority.

        He knew EXACTLY what he was doing and made it clear with his famous “mea culpa”:
        “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

        Milhouse in reply to Edward. | July 4, 2019 at 12:51 am

        No, Edward, he did not rewrite the statute. He simply looked at what Congress had actually done, rather than at what it said it was doing. As he pointed out, there is solid precedent for doing exactly that. In the 1930s the Supreme Court struck down a so-called “tax” because it was actually an unconstitutional penalty, and it quite properly said calling it a “tax” couldn’t change what it was. Using the exact same criteria, Roberts showed that the 0bamacare “penalty” was not a penalty at all, but a tax. He didn’t turn it into a tax, he showed that it already was one. If you think there’s a flaw in his analysis I invite you to point it out.

        Personofinterests, stop lying. None of what you write is true. Roberts did not “going through legal contortions to make a law that WAS NOT A TAX so it could start in the Upper House”. The law did not start in the upper house; the senate amended a bill that had started in the lower house, by deleting all words after “that” and substituting other words, as it does routinely, and as is standard practice in all legislatures everywhere.

          artichoke in reply to Milhouse. | July 7, 2019 at 5:39 am

          No, not routine, not “standard practice everywhere”. I believe the practice started with the Patriot Act, and it aroused quite a bit of controversy when people saw what was going on.

          By the time of Obamacare we were more used to the corruption, and the press was on Obama’s side so complaints were muted.

          PersonofInterests in reply to Milhouse. | July 7, 2019 at 3:32 pm

          Millhouse, you are certainly entitled to your Opinions, but not your own facts. John Roberts most certainly did go through legal contortions, whether you believe it or not. And I’m not the only one to think so:

          Even John Roberts knew the squishy ground he stood upon in making his disasterous decision by making his now infamous mea culpa: “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

          Embrace the suck, Millhouse.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 7, 2019 at 4:26 pm

          Wrong. It is routine, standard practice everywhere to amend a bill by deleting all its words and substituting new words. There is nothing revolutionary about it. It was certainly not first used for the USA PATRIOT Act.

          And no, the fact is that Roberts’s opinion is straightforward, without any contortions at all.

In 50 years … no 30 years … this country will be another 3rd-world, Spanish-speaking, craphole country. I will not answer any census questions … will simply return it blank. They can come and get me if they want.

    Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to walls. | July 3, 2019 at 2:01 am

    Beg to differ; in 30 years, it will be a Spanish-speaking moslem craphole country.

    MarkS in reply to walls. | July 3, 2019 at 9:15 am

    The way Trump is failing, it won’t take that long!

      Tom Servo in reply to MarkS. | July 3, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      oh yes if your hero Hillary would have won, things would have been so much better.

        Close The Fed in reply to Tom Servo. | July 3, 2019 at 9:44 pm

        When it comes to immigration only, electing Hillary would not have been any different.

        Well, maybe we wouldn’t have this current crush, because all the courts wouldn’t have stopped her enforcement actions, which would have been a continuation of the Kenyan’s.

Baby Elephant | July 2, 2019 at 9:16 pm

The constitution should not be about horsetrading votes on the Supreme Court. It should not be about finding common ground. It should be about the meaning of our most important historical document. Chief Justice Roberts needs to go.

    PersonofInterests in reply to Baby Elephant. | July 3, 2019 at 11:07 am

    John Roberts should never have been put on the SCOTUS much less as Chief Justice. George W. Bush didn’t want to do the work of elevating Scalia to Chief, endure the Senate Gauntlet Confirmation Process and then, nominate a replacement for Scalia and go through it again.

    So that tricky George found a liberal judge that could pass muster directly to the Chief’s office to avoid DOING THE FREAKING JOB.

    Frankly, it seems that any of these nominees who have attended the Libtard Law Schools like Yale and Harvard don’t have a libtard streak running down their backs. Nay, lawyers in general seem to have the trait.

    The time is long overdue that the Judicial Branch is treated as the Founders intended: The courts are not intended to legislate, execute, craft, or decide policy. The Courts are not philosophical reservoirs of wisdom. They were designed to settle disputes, and that means ruling for the parties before them. Rulings from the Supreme Court should not affect the whole country–and certainly not rulings from district courts.

The idea the court has any say in this at this juncture is absurd. This is solely and executive function and this court seems strangely to assume it is the executive, with district courts playing president throughout the nation all of a sudden and Roberts clearly encouraging the same. The only role the court should have played is if after the census was had, the government sought to penalize someone for an answer/non-answer. That is basic Constitutional Law….and it is clear we no longer have a Constitution with Roberts and his liberal friends.

    heyjoojoo in reply to puhiawa. | July 2, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    As Trump continues to preside as executive over this country, the more I start to see how much more powerful the SCOTUS seems to be. Somehow I missed this in middle school. SCOTUS can override whatever the Executive office can do.

      Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to heyjoojoo. | July 3, 2019 at 2:03 am

      It’s starting to appear that a Federal district judge can override anything the President wants to do. (Unless of course it’s a Democrat President and a a conservative judge.)

      Tom Servo in reply to heyjoojoo. | July 3, 2019 at 8:43 am

      In Actual, Practical Fact this country now has 2 branches of Govm’t, not three. The Bureaucracy runs most of everything on a day to day basis, and their agency decisions make up most actual law. The Executive is nominally in charge of them, but he’s only one man against 200,000 or so who all have their own ideas of what they want to do.

      The SCOTUS, and it’s subsidiaries, the District Courts, has become the Legislature which sets all policy for the country now. All important policy decisions go through the SCOTUS, and they block anything they don’t like.

      The old “3rd Branch”, the Legislature, has become a useless debating society and a Kabuki Theater meant to entertain the Hoi Polloi, designed to make people think they have some skin in the game, but they don’t. If you doubt that, consider this – at the end of the 2018 – 2020 session, we will have gone a full 2 years without the Congress having passed even a single bill of any importance at all. And no one cares, and no one expects any different. As an institution, Congress is finished. It’s useless, bad entertainment, nothing more.

      PersonofInterests in reply to heyjoojoo. | July 3, 2019 at 5:35 pm


Typical of Trump, who talks bigly and carries a soft stick.

Can you legally decline to respond?

    puhiawa in reply to heyjoojoo. | July 2, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    No. However no one has been prosecuted and the census taker takes notes on the obvious.

    Milhouse in reply to heyjoojoo. | July 3, 2019 at 12:09 am

    No, but nothing will happen to you if you do. I never return the form, and pretend nobody was home that day, because I want my state and city to lose representation. I realize one undercounted person is not going to have much of an impact, but if enough other people are also not counted, each for reasons of their own, it adds up. For all the same reasons that they want to count me, I don’t want to be counted.

Roberts must be forced off the bench, spend more time with his children
If Obama got to him, Trump can too

Let me propose a scenario in which this is all a win.

(1) note that the citizenship question may not be super-important. Sure I’d like to have it there too, it’s only reasonable. This case actually seems winnable, so why is Trump giving up? Let me suggest:

(2) this is a bigger win in the long run than the citizenship question issue. The big issue is the corrupt idea that the courts can psychoanalyze the executive branch and pass judgment on reasoning it provides. This seems terribly abusive and it is. But turnabout’s fair play, and my mercy’s all used up.

In less than 6 years there will be no more PDJT. Texas ver a hablar espanol. (Texas will speak Spanish, if I’m right.) Ohio will flip Muslim. The electoral college will be unwinnable for a Republican.

And Trump will have appointed dominating numbers of judges at all levels of the judiciary.

All the above seems rather predictable to me. Things will have flipped, and we know it will happen on current information!

Now wouldn’t it be nice to have a SCOTUS precedent saying that those judges can kick the Dem presidents in the shins any time they feel like it. THIS CASE IS THAT PRECEDENT.

    PersonofInterests in reply to artichoke. | July 3, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    The truth is that they never do kick the Dem in the shin.

    I’m thinking that we have less representation in our Federal Government than we ever did as Colonists under King George III.

    It may be time to “Water the Tree of Freedom” again to get things back to what our Founders intended.

      artichoke in reply to PersonofInterests. | July 3, 2019 at 5:55 pm

      No. If there’s a time, right now when we’ve got the best president (and most effective Senate Majority Leader even with the foibles) in at least 100 years isn’t it.

      Now is the time to take over the system, not to dismantle it.

I don’t remember electing Roberts president but he sure as hell is acting like that’s who he thinks he is.

If he agrees the question is perfectly legal to ask, but refuses to allow it because he doubts the motivations behind it, then Trump should have responded that Roberts has the perfect legal right to issue his ruling but it won’t be complied with because he doubts the motivation behind the decision. There is no reason a coequal branch of government should have to explain its motives to another branch. Either the question is legal to ask or it is not. At the very least Trump should take that argument to the American people and ask why he can’t use the same reasoning on the court?

The Court, and Roberts in particular, will have to be publicly humiliated in some sort of spectacular fashion like that before they stop showing their asses.

And I don’t want to hear another damned word from the left about people being disenfranchised when they pull sh!t like this knowing full well each vote in CA will now count for more than one in TN since foreigners who cannot vote will be allowed to determine representation.

Oh, and before I forget, once again the lawyers on the right prove themselves absolutely useless. There should have been all sorts of lawsuits emphasizing just how excluding the question was nothing but a scam to disenfranchise people.

    artichoke in reply to Thatch. | July 2, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    The sad fact, though, is that it’s not disputed that the constitutional purpose of the census is to count persons not citizens. That count has carried in a lot of other stuff with it, including in many years a citizenship question. But since the founding it’s been about enumerating persons. We don’t win the “original intent” argument on this one.

    The reasonable, and in my view still winnable, argument is that this is within the executive branch’s discretion and a citizenship question has been used many times, so SCOTUS should not poke further. A matter of power distribution among the branches of government.

      puhiawa in reply to artichoke. | July 2, 2019 at 10:46 pm

      As early as 1820 the census was used to count ‘citizens’ versus non-citizens. Think about it. How was the nation to determine the 3/5th compromise if the 3/5th non-citizens were not tabulated. How were the Cherokee census’ to be taken? How about the Indian reservation census of 1870?(Fully 54 years before The Snyder Act).
      This court is totally rogue and is determined to destroy the executive branch in favor of rule by judicial tyranny.

        Milhouse in reply to puhiawa. | July 3, 2019 at 12:32 am

        This is completely wrong. The 3/5 compromise had nothing to do with citizenship. Knowing the number of citizens and aliens in the country does not affect the 3/5 calculation even slightly. Why would you think it does?

          puhiawa in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2019 at 12:50 am

          Don’t be an intentional fool again.

          Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2019 at 8:49 am

          Milhouse is completely correct here. What’s more, the 14th Amendment completely rewrote the idea of Citizenship and the rules for the Census, so everything that happened before 1868 is tossed out and has no bearing at all on current law and practice. (Including the infamous “3/5” clause)

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 4, 2019 at 12:55 am

          Don’t be an intentional fool again.

          Care to explain that? Because you are the fool here, though I have no idea whether it’s intentional. What on earth could possibly have made you think the 3/5 compromise had anything at all to do with citizenship?

      lawdoc in reply to artichoke. | July 3, 2019 at 10:40 am

      Actually, the Constitution calls for enumerating all persons eligible to vote. In other words, citizens. Non citizens are not eligible to vote. Therefore the Constitution requires the enumeration of all citizens and other non-citizen persons are optional.

        Milhouse in reply to lawdoc. | July 4, 2019 at 12:59 am

        Actually, the Constitution calls for enumerating all persons eligible to vote. In other words, citizens.

        No, it does not. Stop making up lies. If you can write here, you can read, and therefore you know very well that the constitution requires counting ALL PERSONS whether they can vote or not.

Subotai Bahadur | July 2, 2019 at 10:27 pm

Our Social Contract is based on our accepting the power of the government to rule within the bounds of the Constitution. If the government does not stay within the bounds of the Constitution, then the people are absolved from obedience to the State. Which leaves us at a return to Thomas Hobbes’ “State of Nature” until a new Social Contract accepted universally comes into being.

Combine this action by Roberts, et. al. and the constantly and especially recently [Portland] demonstrated power of Leftists to physically assault anyone they deem an enemy with no legal penalty in any Democrat controlled polity; and it would appear that the Social Contract is in tatters.

Commentary by Professor Jacobson would be welcome.

Subotai Bahadur

    artichoke in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | July 2, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    I’m not a lawyer, but I did listen to the SCOTUS oral arguments on this case. And I heard that the census, constitutionally, is to count persons not citizens. This wasn’t disputed.

      Close The Fed in reply to artichoke. | July 3, 2019 at 10:01 pm

      Dear Artichoke:
      Just because the U.S. Gov’t. had crap lawyers, doesn’t mean those crappy lawyers are correct.

        Milhouse in reply to Close The Fed. | July 4, 2019 at 1:01 am

        There is no possible dispute about this. The constitution explicitly says all persons are to be counted. Anyone who claims otherwise is a damned liar.

      The issue is about allowing the question of citizenship to be asked. If you are not a citizen, you are still being counted. You are just required to reply “no”. It is as relevant and legitimate a question that a census can ask. Are wea country or not? If citizenship is no longer relevant, we should be doing what Hong Kong citizens are doing. Do we have the courage to at least stand our own ground?

The whole point of the census is to divide the congressional districts based on the number of citizens in each state. If this can not be done, the census should be cancelled. Why waste the money?

    Milhouse in reply to InEssence. | July 3, 2019 at 12:28 am

    No, that is absolutely not the point of the census, and is contrary to the constitution. The constitution is clear that the point of the census is to ascertain the whole number of persons within each state, including aliens, and excluding only Indians Not Taxed, of which there aren’t any nowadays. States are entitled to representation on that basis, not on the number of citizens. It would still be nice to know the number of citizens, but it’s not relevant to the census’s primary purpose.

      paracelsus in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2019 at 10:41 am

      If I’m understanding you correctly, you’re saying, in essence, that the Constitution requires that all non-citizens must be represented in Congress. What is the purpose of counting illegal aliens, who are not permitted to vote, for representation in Congress ?

        Milhouse in reply to paracelsus. | July 4, 2019 at 1:06 am

        I’m not saying it “in essence”, I’m saying it outright, because it is the undisputed truth. This is not a matter of interpretation; the constitution says it explicitly. The point of counting aliens is the same as the point of counting women, children, felons, the feeble-minded, and all other people who were not allowed to vote. They are all represented in Congress, though they have no say in choosing their representatives. The only people to be excluded from the count were Indians Not Taxed, and 40% of slaves.

      Edward in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      IIRC the courts have ruled in recent years that states may draw their Congressional Districts on the basis of number of citizens, not solely “bodies present”. Probably makes far too much sense.

        Milhouse in reply to Edward. | July 4, 2019 at 1:09 am

        I know that argument was being made in courts; I haven’t heard whether there have been any decisions on it. But in any case it’s irrelevant for the current discussion. The constitution is silent on how states allocate their representation. It doesn’t even require that states have districts at all. Congress made a law requiring that, but it could change that law any time it likes.

Without for one minute defending Roberts’ opinion in this case, it is a good idea not to get hysterical. I think it was wrongly decided, but we are not quite yet at the point where hundreds are getting rounded up in the middle of the night and shot in secret. Perhaps equally important as the opinion in the census case have been those in which the Court has ruled that Congress may not delegate certain law-making powers to administration officials. It is to be hoped that such cases will lead away from the drift toward governance by administrative fiat that seemed to be accelerating under the Obama Administration. I would suggest that the more excitable among us consider enjoying a tall drink, adding up the pluses and minuses from the past 29 months, and postpone making the down payment on that house on Pitcairn Island.

    artichoke in reply to HarvardPhD. | July 3, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Yes, the delegation and gerrymandering decisions are much MORE important than whether California gets an extra representative in Congress. And those decisions are decided in solid ways that will stick, unlike the citizenship opinion which is very weak and would be quickly overturned if we would just insist on a Ginsburg sighting or else we replace her.

So we will not know how many of the people in this country are non-citizens.

We wouldn’t have known anyway. Many aliens — especially (but not limited to) illegal ones — would either have lied on this question or else refused to return the census altogether, so the number of aliens reported would have been unreliable.

And let’s face it, the Dems are probably right that this was the real reason the administration wanted the question in the first place. Which I’ve got no problem with; I don’t accept the premise that the Commerce Secretary must act for completely selfless reasons, and may not take politics into account in his decisions. I don’t believe it was ever like that, or was ever seriously expected to be like that. I also don’t accept the premise that that the Secretary has a duty to ensure as many people as possible answer the census; if people choose not to answer it that’s their business and if their state loses some representation that’s its tough luck.

    Edward in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    “We wouldn’t have known anyway. Many aliens — especially (but not limited to) illegal ones — would either have lied on this question or else refused to return the census altogether, so the number of aliens reported would have been unreliable.”

    Thank you for that statement of fact. Now provide your proof that the statement is, indeed, the fact you present it to be and not the surmise it most likely is.

    artichoke in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    I doubt that many would lie. Under Trump there’s a big emphasis on following the letter of the law among the illegals, because a crime (or additional crime for those who crossed the border illegally) is likely to expedite their departure.

    Even for those who are disposed to commit crimes, this is one with too low a payoff for the risk.

The liberals are concerned that noncitizens will be afraid to answer. I live in a super blue state and I refuse to answer if they don’t ask the question. We need a movement of citizens in blue states refusing.

The current system waters down the votes of citizens in red states, which is the obvious intent of the litigation, something under Roberts’ nose that he chose to ignore.

Then again it may not matter since the Democrats fully intend to launch the greatest organized voter fraud in our history to steal the election.

    Milhouse in reply to rightway. | July 3, 2019 at 12:39 am

    All conservatives in solid “blue” states — whether citizens or not — should refuse to answer, because we should want those states to lose representation.

    The current system waters down the votes of citizens in red states,

    What do you mean by this?

      Edward in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      Presumably he based the comment on the blue state Socialist-Democrats inviting illegal aliens to reside in their state (e.g. “sanctuary” laws, driver’s licenses, etc.). Assuming this is successful (witness California’s estimated illegal alien population), the blue states gain more Congressional Districts and representation, with fewer citizen voters, than red states which do not have significant numbers of illegal aliens being counted for purposes of Congressional representation.

Justice Roberts opinion says the purpose of the census is enumeration thus I will not be answering any questions other than how many people live in my home. The answers to the many other questions asked are not necessary.

    aka Hoss in reply to kjon. | July 3, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Me too. That’s what I did last time and they kept dropping by to “help me fill out the remainder of my questionnaire.” I declined and they stopped dropping by.

Hopefully, it is being printed in English only.

POS Roberts needs to be removed. He is making a habit of phucking Americans.

So what’s Trump and the crew waiting on, if you can’t ask if someone is a citizen the only question that should be allowed is “How many reside in this household? Done. You could print it on a post card.

While waiting for RBG to leave, suddenly we discover that she’s been promoted to Chief Justice. I can just imagine how many more John Roberts are being appointed from Cocaine Mitch’s list. All celebrations are premature. In my lifetime, judge appointments have proven to be mostly disappointing.

nerkbuckeye | July 3, 2019 at 11:00 am

Everyone wants to point to the Census as counting “persons”. That is true, but just like Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus and commented the Constitution is not a suicide pact, the country shouldn’t have to be ignorant about how many people are invading our country because the Founders never considered half of the citizens hating their country.

Trump is saying that the statement that the question would not be on the form is not true.

I find it profoundly disturbing that a state Capitol can increase it’s respective power by importing massive numbers of people who that same state has defacto legal control over. That seems to fly in the face of the basis of this countty’s founding and recreate the systems that we removed through force, but this time of an unlimited scope.

    Milhouse in reply to Voyager. | July 4, 2019 at 1:20 am

    On the contrary, the constitution explicitly allowed states to do literally that very thing until 1808. They could import as many slaves as they liked, and 60% of them would count to increase the state’s representation in Congress, even though none of them would be allowed to vote. Even after 1808 states could encourage the immigration of women, and the production of children, all of whom would count but not vote.

Moreover, given that said imported group is widely dependent on severe identity fraud, does this not also invalidate the raw count of the Census? When the typical illegal needs must have multiple identities to separate their pubic benefits from their private earnings, what guard is there against simply reporting once, twice, thrice, and as many times as needed to ensure the count comes out to what is desired?

How can we have a census of a people who are already untrue of who and what they are?

I think about the only thing within our power to do now is for California Republicans, and Republicans in other blue states to boycott the census so that there is an undercount in those areas to make up for the overcount of foreigners. Now that it is clear the census is not intended to be accurate, but is rather a game by which jurisdictions can import foreigners to make the votes of their actual citizens worth more than the citizens in other states due to apportionment there is no reason to participate. Indeed, it would be detrimental to the Republic and the legitimacy of our government to participate.

    Milhouse in reply to Thatch. | July 4, 2019 at 1:21 am

    I don’t think the party can openly advocate this, but yes, every Republican in a hopelessly blue state should be smart enough to do this on his own.

President Trump indicates the report is wrong, and his team is moving forward to get the question on the census.

Bureaucrat: “The US Census has been completed. It was an astounding success.”

Regular Joe: “So how many Americans are there in this country”

Bureaucrat: “We don’t know because ww didn´t want to ask that offensive question.”

BREAKING: DOJ Says It’s Been ‘Instructed’ To Try Get Citizenship Question Back On Census

    The census should be delayed. If Congress can suspend the constitutional requirement of approving an annual budget, surely the census can wait.

    The last time Congress passed all 12 appropriations bills was 2006 but to continuing negotiations supplementals, resolutions in both houses was not complete until May. That was 13 years ago. What’s the rush with the census?

    BTW, the last president to present a balanced budget was Bill Clinton in 1998. That’s the year of the repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act which laid open the way for out-of-control spending and debt. Let’s just delay the census indefinitely.

      Milhouse in reply to Pasadena Phil. | July 4, 2019 at 9:35 am

      The census should be delayed. If Congress can suspend the constitutional requirement of approving an annual budget, surely the census can wait.

      Say what? There is no such requirement. The budget process is not even indirectly alluded to in the constitution, and was invented in the 1970s.

      The census, however, is required, both by the constitution and the law.

        I’m not getting into a pedantic argument with you about the constitutional budget process. It’s an annual budget. Annual. How explicit does it need to be?

        As to the census, there is plenty of wiggle room to delay or even suspend. It’s only July and I am sure the founding fathers never anticipated that the SCOTUS would become such a barrier to the ability of the POTUS to exercise his constitutional duties.

        It is not a game of who gets the last lick in before the clock runs out and the census released in hopes of getting it done on time. Delay works both ways. The current census is too lengthy and most of us take exception to several of the questions asked as being too intrusive. Yet the most important one gets excluded. So we won’t cooperate and it become increasingly difficult to get it done on time… or ever.

        If defeating the very purpose of a census is all we can expect, I don’t see why we even have to have one. Just to superficially satisfy a requirement whose purpose has been negated? It would be much more effective and useful to keep it short and make sure we know who is here, whether they are citizens and where they live.

        BTW, how many angels can fit on the head of a pin?

          Also, the Department of Commerce didn’t even exist in 1789, a bureaucracy many of us would like to see abolished. Maybe Trump could order a separate USEFUL census to replace the DOC’s globalist and useless version that offends so many of us that we simply refuse to cooperate?

          Milhouse in reply to Pasadena Phil. | July 7, 2019 at 4:30 pm

          No, Phil, there is no constitutional budget process at all. There is not a word in the constitution about a budget, let alone an annual one. The entire budget process was invented in the 1970s.

          And the “very purpose of the census” is to find out how many people there are, not how many citizens.

John Roberts… What a disappointment. He wants to make sure those dinner invitations and opera tickets keep coming.